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Cory Bernardi attacks public service pay rises in the Senate

Date

Phillip Thomson

Senator Cory Bernardi.

Senator Cory Bernardi. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Cory Bernardi has taken aim at pay increases given to federal bureaucrats during enterprise agreements.

The Liberal senator said pay increases awarded in the past had easily outstripped inflation and called the Australian Services Union's tax official, Jeff Lapidos, a dinosaur.

"In the last decade, annual increments in the median Australian Public Service wage totalled 42 per cent, compared to movements in the CPI which totalled only 28 per cent," Mr Bernardi said quoting the 2013 APS remuneration report.

"In other words, over the last decade the average public service wage outstripped inflation by 14 per cent and outstripped increments in the private sector by 6 per cent."

On Wednesday the senator criticised Mr Lapidos' threat of industrial action if Australian Taxation Office staff were forced to work another nine minutes a day. Mr Lapidos represents a number of employees at the ATO alongside other staff represented by the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU)and more than 20 individual bargaining representatives.  

"What a dinosaur this man is," Mr Bernardi said in the Senate.  

"Surely the time has come when unions and management can try to negotiate win-win situations.

"With the country so deep in debt and deficit thanks to the Labor Party, clearly Mr Lapidos and the ASU and the CPSU need to get some perspective.

"They need to be relevant and they need to be reasonable, and by doing so they will protect the jobs of all of their members."

Mr Bernardi said an extra nine minutes a day would take the average working week at the ATO to 37.5 hours a week and into line with 72 per cent of APS employees covered by 74 other enterprise bargaining agreements.

Labor senator Doug Cameron called out "Work Choices is on its way back" when Mr Bernardi had finished talking. 

40 comments so far

  • Once you say "so deep in debt and deficit thanks to the Labor Party", I'm pretty sure that you've lost your right to say anything at all.

    Oh, and has anyone bothered to check the amount of payrises handed to politicians over the same period? What about some productivity improvements there? For example, why not increase the number if sitting days by 10%?

    Commenter
    AS
    Location
    Geneva
    Date and time
    June 26, 2014, 12:38AM
    • APS payrises outpace inflation? I can testify that they absolutely don't. Even if some of the payrises have been nominally above the inflation rate, after tax is taken out they are WELL below it, so what the public servants are pocketing is a shrinking real wage. Another reason for my leaving the APS recently.
      Oh, and Bernardi is a complete twerp.

      Commenter
      Truthy
      Date and time
      June 26, 2014, 12:36PM
    • +1 and it's a bit rich of Bernadi to bitch about PS pay rises but says nothing about his own unjustified pay rises as well. Has anyone noticed the regular absences of senators when the senate is sitting? Why is Bernadi not sitting in the senate on a regular basis? Could he pls justify his regular absences and why he should not get a pay cut for his absences?

      Commenter
      Akari
      Date and time
      June 26, 2014, 1:07PM
    • Mark, like paying them lots of taxpayers dollars is really working to recruit the best into politics. You are either deluded, or a Liberal Party crony, member or IPA staffer who stands to benefit from defending this indefensible behaviour...

      Commenter
      John
      Date and time
      June 26, 2014, 3:21PM
  • I detest Cori Bernardi, but do agree with his concerns. Another article today shows OECD revealing Canberrans as the highest paid of 300 national cities. No doubt Canberrans will laud that and interpret this as what makes Canbeera so "liveable", when really its simply an elitist enclave living off the hard work of real Australian taxpayers.
    Enjoy the lawnmowering guys, the job cuts are absolutely reasonable - this is what happens when you all demand and receive impossibly high conditions and travel on the public purse..

    Commenter
    Feel the Reality
    Date and time
    June 26, 2014, 6:12AM
    • No,
      it shows that Canberra is a city with a higher level of professional occupations (that pay higher) and a smaller amount of service or industrial jobs that would pay lower.

      If you compared the pay levels of the central Sydney or Melbourne areas you'd find that those rates were much higher again because of the makeup of the jobs and industries that are based there.

      Nah, lets just use the stat for some more Canberra and public servant bashing.

      Commenter
      Freddie Frog
      Date and time
      June 26, 2014, 12:58PM
    • An EL1 in Canberra would struggle to do what an APS6 would do in Melb or Sydney, especially in terms of people management.
      The public service itself is too highly inflated and bloated in Canberra - think SkyWhale - simply because it is such an uncompetitive labour market. If you need any proof, aside from the APS, you don't see much big industry setting up shop in Canberra now do you?
      The latest cuts are only going to make the Canberra APS even more residual, as those with some talent might well take a redundancy package and move to a real city..

      Commenter
      M
      Date and time
      June 26, 2014, 3:00PM
    • M,
      Then why don't all the APS 6's move from Sydney or Melbourne to Canberra?

      I mean if they are so much better then why wouldn't they take the big bucks on offer in Canberra for easier work.

      Commenter
      Freddie Frog
      Date and time
      June 26, 2014, 8:15PM
  • apart from labor bashing, because ultimately, EVERYHING is always Labor's fault, Bernardi is just blowing more hot air. His attack is focused at the unions. Yet another step towards the Liberal dream of making sure people don't get 'uppity' and pretend to places above their stations. True, the APS is an over-paid, bloated bureaucracy that should be cut back, but then, who does the work....but, under the ideal Liberal dream, if you can negotiate a whopping pay rise for yourself, then good luck to you!!! It's a free market economy in their world, isn't it?
    Oh that's right...only if you are big business...not if you are a worker bee....worker bees must know their places....poor pay, poor health and education and perhaps a sound thrashing once a week...and kids not going to uni....cant have the masses wanting more...b***dy Labor and their idea of a fair and equitable society...the brave new world of the Libs - that's the ticket!!! $3.00 an hour for pay and if you're sick...too bad because you can't afford a doctor or medicine anyway - oh, and while you're at it, if you're poor, don't live too long - you can't afford that either

    Commenter
    Things as they are
    Date and time
    June 26, 2014, 6:18AM
    • "True, the APS is an over-paid, bloated bureaucracy..."

      Actually, Australia has one of the smallest and most efficient public services in the world.

      Commenter
      Some cheese with your whine?
      Date and time
      June 26, 2014, 10:31AM

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